Friday, February 27, 2009

Okinawan Scenery and Geocaching Rules?

That's a big hermit crab!

I haven't done any Geocaching since last weekend, so I thought I would post a couple of pictures from previous adventures. There's no real rhyme or reason to these pics, just as there's no real rules to Geocaching.

It's a bit funny how this whole thing works. The game, hobby, sport, activity (whatever you choose to call it) of Geocaching has no real rules. There are suggested guidelines that can be found at the Geocaching Website, but they are just that: Guidelines. The website itself has rules and, if they are not followed, a person wishing to hide a geocache will not get their cache listed on the website. The game itself is played in the public venue, under the supervision of one's self, and there are no real guys in striped shirts to officiate. There are volunteer reviewers that publish the geocache listings, and our two reviewers do a great job (from afar).

View of the expressway, from Chibana Castle

In regard to guidelines, many players are fond of saying that everyone plays the game their own way. I couldn't agree more. As soon as I say that, however, there are a few details that cause me to question that decree. Should everyone just trod forth, ignoring all suggestions? We can if we so choose, but should we? There's another nifty website out there that lists the Geocacher's Creed. I think that if everyone at least tried to follow these simple suggestions, there would be fewer problems. These guidelines need to be tempered with common sense, though.

One of the many well worn paths

What of the "unwritten rules?" Should you pull out your cell phone and "phone a friend," "use a lifeline," or simply, "ask for help," when you cannot find a geocache? I say, go right ahead. I would leave it up to the person you call to decide whether or not to reveal any information. Are you infringing on anyone else by asking for help? Only you know if you've made a tough find with no help. Some of those folks that "rate" themselves in the Geocaching world might argue differently, but I don't think they are paid employees of Groundspeak or Garmin. Some of the other unwritten standards are slowly becoming "the way." This might lead to what we commonly refer to as tradition. Good? Bad? Maybe a little of both, at times.

East China Sea, as seen from Camp Kinser

This is all, of course, just opinion. It's subject to change, and it's a work in progress. I think if people allow themselves to get too wrapped up in this game, they will lose sight of how fun it is, and the amazing places it can take them. What are your thoughts on it all?


P.J. said...

Very good post. The game is just that -- a game. That's what makes it so fun.

I'm going back to why I started. Though I enjoyed a couple of months of number runs and really piling up the finds, it's time to remember why the heck I started playing this game. Not saying we won't do number runs again, but I'm going to make sure that when we do them, we stop and see some good caches.

That's what it's all about, no?

Playing the game, having fun and seeing why people brought you there.

Good times! (I'm just waiting for warm weather!)

Just John said...

Well said, P.J. There's some really neat caches out there that can lead us to some amazing points of interest. It would sure be a shame to miss those points, in an effort to simply rack up more smileys. To each his own though.